Refrigerators, ice machines, stoves, dishwashers and other important devices need to work properly whenever you’re open for business. To save time, energy and money, we have advice on purchasing appliances and how to keep all your equipment running at peak efficiency.
Use ENERGY STAR®-Certified Products
The ENERGY STAR®-certified mark indicates the most energy-efficient appliances, office equipment, electronics, lighting fixtures and more. While high-efficiency products can cost more up front, significantly lower utility bills can make up the price difference over time.
Refrigerated Beverage Vending Machines
New and rebuilt refrigerated beverage vending machines that are ENERGY STAR®-certified are 50 percent more energy-efficient than standard machine models. Each unit can save more than 1,700 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, or $150 annually on utility bills.
Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers
If all commercial refrigerators and freezers sold in the U.S. were ENERGY STAR®-certified, the energy cost savings would grow to nearly $235 million each year and more than 5 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented, equivalent to the emissions from 480,000 vehicles.
An ENERGY STAR®-certified electric convection oven can save businesses 650kWh annually, or an average of $70/year on utility bills. Each ENERGY STAR®-certified gas convection oven can save about 18 MMBtu annually, or an average of $140/year on utility bills.
Electric and Gas Fryers
A standard sized electric fryer that has earned the ENERGY STAR® can save 2,390 kWh/year. This equates to a savings of $245 annually on your utility bill. ENERGY STAR® large vat electric and gas commercial fryers can save 1,790 kWh/year and 58 MBtu/year in energy, respectively. This equates to a savings of more than $180 for electric and $440 for gas, annually on your utility bill.
Commercial dishwashers that have earned the ENERGY STAR® are on average 40 percent more energy- and water-efficient than standard models.
Hot Food Holding Cabinets
Hot food holding cabinets that have earned the ENERGY STAR® on average, are 70 percent more energy efficient than standard models. Over its lifetime, each hot food holding cabinet that's earned the ENERGY STAR® can save businesses an average of $3,100 on utility bills and almost 36,000 kWh. Hot food holding cabinets can save up to $280 per year on energy. Good practices can save $650 annually by turning off an uninsulated holding cabinet when the kitchen is closed (8 hours).
Commercial griddles that have earned the ENERGY STAR® are 10 to 11 percent more energy-efficient than standard models. This equates to savings of $90 per year for gas models and $130 per year for electric models and $1,100 and $1,330 over the product lifetime for gas and electric models, respectively.
When considering batch-type ice makers, ENERGY STAR®-certified systems save, on average about 700 kWh annually, or $70/year in electricity bill costs and can expect to save an additional $480 and 53,000 gallons on water use. For continuous-type ice makers, ENERGY STAR®-certified machines save, on average about 1,350kWh annually, or $140/year on utility bills.
ENERGY STAR®-certified electric commercial steam cookers save about 11,500 kWh, while certified gas steam cookers save 130 MBtu annually. This equals a savings of more than $1,000 annually on your utility bills.
Maintain Air-Gap on Refrigeration Units
Leave a few inches between the wall and the refrigerator, and keep the condenser coils clean if you have an older model. Read the user’s manual to learn how to safely clean coils. Coil cleaning brushes can be purchased at most hardware stores.
Ovens tend to be more efficient than rotisseries, griddles more than broilers. Examine your cooking methods and menu to find ways to utilize your energy-efficient appliances more frequently.
Cut Equipment Idle Time
Implement a startup/shutdown plan to make sure you are using only the equipment that you need, when you need it.
Maintain and Repair Equipment
Don’t let every day wear and tear drive up your energy bills. Leaky walk-in refrigerator gaskets, freezer doors that do not shut, cooking appliances that have lost their knobs—all these “energy leaks” waste money every month.
Check Thermostats and Recalibrate Appliances
The performance of your kitchen equipment changes over time. Thermostats and control systems can fail, fall out of calibration or need readjustment. Routinely check the thermostat in your appliances—refrigerator, dish washer and hot water heaters—to ensure each is set to the correct operating temperature.
Buy Large Ice Machines
Bigger ice machines are typically more efficient than smaller ones, yet the price difference is usually not very large. Choose well and you could get twice the capacity at half the energy cost per pound of ice. Avoid water-cooled ice machines because of their high water-usage costs, which makes them significantly more expensive.
Water-Cooled Ice Machines
Avoid water-cooled ice machines because of their high-water usage costs.
Check Door Seals on Refrigeration Units
Tight seals and properly closing doors prevent warm air from entering the unit, reducing energy required for cooling as well as preventing frost build up. If you can easily slide a dollar bill into the seal, have the seal adjusted.
Clean Refrigeration Cooling Coils
Dirt impairs proper heat transfer and lowers a refrigerator’s efficiency and capacity. As you clean, watch for and remove any accumulation of ice.
Maintain Air-Gap on Refrigeration Units
Maintain an air-gap of at least three inches between the wall and the back of refrigerators, water coolers and freezers.
Shut Refrigerator and Freezer Doors
Keep the cooling unit doors closed as much as you possibly can. Repeated temperature fluctuations not only increase energy costs, it can damage food quality too.
Improve Walk-In Refrigerators
Add strip curtains and automatic door closers to your walk-in refrigerator. Inexpensive and easy-to-install, strip curtains can cut outside air infiltration by about 75%.